As the New Year arrives, it is customary to make our New Year’s Resolutions. The question is how you are going to be one of the people to keep your New Year’s Resolution. I found I needed to change my perspective when trying to achieve my goals of weight loss and being physically able to accomplish more activities. I had to make the commitment to these goals. This time around, I am achieving a lifestyle change not just being on a diet until I lose the weight. I know the choices I make when deciding what foods to eat and choosing to exercise will determine if I will achieve my goals. I know once I have achieved the weight loss I desire, I will have to maintain this lifestyle change if I am going to be successful in keeping the weight off. Otherwise, I will regain the weight just as I have so many times in the past.
I am motivated and determined to make this lifestyle change. I have changed my views about food. It is the fuel my body needs in order to sustain life. It is not like I can quit eating all together in order to lose the weight. Although food can be an addiction and I believe it is an addiction for me, I cannot expect to quit it like smoking cigarettes or using drugs. It is unhealthy to stop eating all together in order to get a quick weight loss. It never works. You end up gaining all the weight back and a few extra pounds on top of the ones you lost. It is better to lose it slowly, about two pounds a week for most people.
I have also used food as a reward or to celebrate some event like Christmas and New Years. We all have gone out to eat for a birthday, a holiday, a graduation, or a promotion. It always seems like there is something to celebrate and our culture has planted food into our celebrations. There are many other things we could do to celebrate. We could go to the movies, a sporting event, a concert, or a play. We could reward ourselves with gifts like clothing in our smaller size or that pedometer that talks we have our eye on. We could plan a day at the park, go for a stroll on a nature trail, or spend a peaceful day of fishing on the lake. There are many rewards and celebrations out there for us to choose from which do not involve food and can be done for little or no cost. Just let your imagination run wild.
Also, I keep track of the foods I eat. If I am going to go out to dinner, I plan for the meal by looking up the restaurant on the internet and deciding my meal before I leave. I plan for the foods I love to eat. I plan for a couple of cookies every now and then. I keep healthy foods on hand so I will not be tempted to eat the high calorie foods. If I am going to eat something I have not planned for then I add extra exercise to make up for that food.
One of the things I have done to achieve my goals is to plan for success. I exercise daily. I like to get up early in the morning and exercise outside on my balcony. When it is too cold outside I use my living room instead. I alternate by working out my upper body one day and my lower body the next. I like to take a walk every other day in the evening. I have been able to increase the distance I walk little by little over time.
It is through positive thinking and determination that we will be able to achieve our New Year’s Resolutions. We can live a healthy lifestyle if we look at it from a new perspective. We must stay motivated and reward our successes. Remember our diet consists of the foods we eat to fuel our bodies. It is not something we are on; it is a part of our life. It does require a lifestyle change to be successful. We may slip and fall from time to time but we cannot let that get us down and kill our motivation. We just need to do the things necessary to get back on track. We can achieve the weight loss. We will accomplish our goals. We can make our resolutions last the whole year. Take care and God Bless.
“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Mathew 19:26
This is the article I wrote originally published by The Henry County Times on December 30, 2009.